The Honest Politician

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Original Post here: http://indianlibertarians.org/the-honest-politician/

Mark Twain famously said “No man’s life, liberty, or properties are safe while the legislature is in session.” Politics has been the dominating factor for thousands of years now shaping the human society. Philosophy and religion are the other two tools besides politics which plays the influencing role in shaping of our society. Politics has fused itself with philosophy and religion to become the de facto tool in dealings of our society. With the rise of representative republics, democracies and constitutional monarchies politicians are the individuals who rules over us. The apparatus of representative government running the state chosen by us gives us the illusion that we are the ones who are part of the government and we are the decision makers. Abraham Lincoln’s famous quote “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” reflects the central idea of this belief. With this belief we the governed masses take interest in politics and political decision making which will help us in betterment of our lives, preserve our liberties and finally protect our lives and properties from harm.  This makes the process of choosing a political representative, the politician a critical part. We desire our politician to be incorruptible, a do-gooder, an intellectual, competent to address over problems, unbiased, moral, ethical, humanitarian, truthful, passionate, having a pleasing personality, strong enough to take pressures of running the state, witty, diplomatic, to be able to remain cool and calm when required and all the other idealistic traits and characteristics we would love to see in an imaginary idealistic perfect person.

Being a politician is not an easy task. In representative democracies the role of the politician is more demanding as he has to be the popular amongst the masses to become their ruler.  One wonders how can some individuals appeal and please millions of voters to become powerful ruler by winning the elections and rule over them including the ones who voted for him. The state incorporates this mechanism within itself of producing politicians and the methods to make them popular. The state is one of the most tempting institution and the most powerful agent in human society. The state by definition is the territorial monopoly over the use of so called legitimate force and ultimate decision making. The state is considered as the agency which helps in maintaining order and welfare in society. It is seen a noble agency for most. It’s supposed to be an agency of social service. It’s an agency just like the idealistic imagination that we have of our ideal honest politician. We have a similar idealistic picture in our mind for the state.  In fact it’s the state through its methods of indoctrination and propaganda has convinced us of its omnipotence. The state indoctrinates us by taking control of us since childhood via means of schooling, making laws of moral standards and also via religious institutions. It uses religion as a tool by incorporating religion into its laws and at times presenting itself as a secular state which protects freedom of religion. Religious priests are used to give the state the sacred sanction of being the protector and the promoter of religion and peace. The intellectuals are the next. They are given patronage and positions of prestige by the state. They themselves are convinced that the state actually benefited them and praise the state for its promotion of scientific research. We view intellectuals as the wise advisers who cannot err nor make stupid mistakes.  We assume that they are men of moral and ethical perfection as they sacrifice their lives for well-being of fellow men. Sentiments of race, nationalism and patriotism are other ideological elements which the state uses. Linking them with history, tradition and culture of the region it integrates the diversity and forms the nation-state.  Not all individuals support the state. Some individuals view the state as an evil institution however they say it’s a necessary institution otherwise the society will disintegrate into chaos and disorder.

The reality is different from our interpretation of the state and politicians as we have experienced for several thousand years with the state that it’s not what we assume it to be. Human beings are probably the only species which can deceive itself by perceiving reality in their own way. In the real world the changes are continuous. Time and again we find conflicting interests with our fellow men over how resources need to be managed and how society needs to be organized. The conflicts are mostly over resources. Resources are scarce. We continuously deal with the scarcity of resources and the infinite wants to utilize those resources. With our labor and trade we come to own certain resources and add them to our private possession. There are individuals who are envious of other individual’s private possessions. Every individual is unique. They have different abilities and skills. They choose differently. Due to this difference between one individual and another at any point of time we find that different individuals have different amount of wealth in their possessions. Some have no wealth at all. Some are under debts. For some the situation is even worse and their survival is at stake.  To make matters worse some individuals lose their wealth due to natural factors where as some individuals are exploited by their fellow men. The history is full of evidences and tales of exploitation of one individual or group of individuals by another.  In this world of crisis and opportunities, of scarcity of one resource and abundance of another, of exploiters and exploited and of the haves and have not; politicians are the individuals who exploit these opportunities, taking advantage of our beliefs, conflicts and sentiments to establish themselves as the saviors, solution providers as our popular leader.

Every individual is unique. However we know that there are identifiable personality traits or patterns which are commonly found in quite a large number of individuals. These traits are strong in certain individuals, in some it might be mild and absent in certain individuals. These personality traits called as archetypes or personality types are studied under various schools/branches of psychology. Politicians are also subject of various studies done by many psychologists. We already know the traits we expect to see in an ideal politician such as honestly, trustworthiness, competence, rationality, wits, authoritative, adventurous, inspirational etc. The conclusions arrived by many of these studies are alarmingly different. Most studies found that politicians share distinct similarities found in psychopaths and serial killers. Almost all studies found them suffering from some form of narcissism and pathological liars. The politician has to be popular with the masses. Only a self-obsessed narcissist can convince others by telling how competent they are. Being pathological liars they brag about their abilities and accomplishments manipulating and exaggerating the data they present to the masses. Elections are mostly fought on personality versus personality basis rather than a realistic and rational problem-solution method. Studies also show that facial features and the personality of the politician matters. Voters subconsciously try to figure out who is a fitting candidate from their looks.  Politicians tend to be good with language and are mostly great orators. Politicians are good actors. They have to continuously pretend that they care about the masses. Acting to keep calm and a poker face through all crises is essential job requirement. Politicians jobs also require them to take decisions to wage wars in which huge destruction takes place, manage welfare funding, dislocate people from their properties if necessary, order execution of criminals, mass execution of civilians, working in secrecy and put their weight around to get what they desire even if it needs to be done by threats. Such decisions to drop nuclear bombs on highly populated cities are not easy to call for most human beings. Many studies have shown that dropping A-Bombs on Japan was completely unnecessary. Most of us cannot order such autocracies. Only an insane mind can do so. Politicians drag us into hate and wars. Politicians with power are interested in women and sex. Scores of instances about affairs of politician’s relationships with women and involvement in sex scandals are known.  Politicians due to their narcissist traits feel that they are the ones who can change the world. They crave for power as they want to change the world and impose things they consider right. There are politicians who love to be praised and considered as a messiah of the masses. They will brag about their simple lifestyle, that they sacrifice their own well-being for the sake of the people etc. They will pretend to be easily approachable by the public and lead a life amongst them. Such politicians rarely are interested in increasing personal materialist wealth but find gratification in praises, popularity and being worshiped by the people as a noblest person. Others like flamboyance and materialist well-being. They’ll talk about progress, welfare, education, poverty, women rights, minority rights etc. They lead keep their personal lives away from public eye. Material wealth of such politicians grows by the day and are rarely worshiped by the masses as noble ethical and one of their own but liked and loved for being competent efficient statesman.

The masses lead a different life than politicians. The masses are the productive class. Their lives revolve around producing various goods and services, planning for the future, upbringing of their kids, well-being of their families, following their hobbies and interests, involving in social things like festivals and celebrations etc. The masses prefer to cooperate and resolve conflicts and differences via negotiations and other peaceful means over violent means. The masses can be categorized into two types: the liberals and the conservatives. Here the words liberals and conservatives do not reflect the mainstream political reference of liberals and conservatives but the literal meaning of the words. Our needs with time and generation keep evolving. The technology changes, knowledge changes, environment changes, traditions changes and cultures change. We all dislike changes as we have to adjust according to them which involve costs. Individuals who are liberals often views changes as a good thing. They love to make things better. They want cultures and traditions to discard the inefficient ways of the past and accept better and efficient ways of the present times. These segments of the masses are likely to be appealed by politicians who talks about change, progress and development. The liberals think that if they don’t change they will be left behind and sooner or later they have to struggle for survival. The conservatives on the other hand do not like changes. They like to see things as they are at least to a large extend. They consider changes as a threat to their cultures and tradition. They view culture and traditions as a binding and uniting factor which maintains peace and order in society.  Liberals and conservatives are thus form the two opposite ends of the spectrum. Most individuals have certain conservative element as well as liberal elements within them. Only few are extreme liberals or conservatives. For example a person may be liberal about the way he does production and runs his business but very conservative when it comes to how they should run their family conducts. On the other hand there are businesses which still manufacture goods and provide services in the old fashion traditional way. However these individuals may be very liberal in their personal lives. When it comes to politics and how things must be managed in society, their views remain the same. Politicians who are at the extreme ends of being liberals or conservatives are rarely popular and rise to the top as they fail to appeal to the majority of the voters who are in the center of the liberal-conservative spectrum. Depending on the need of the time the balance tilts in favor of liberals or conservatives and changes along with preservation takes place. For example an economic crisis most conservatives will be ready to accept most decisions demanding changes in the economy. In cases like when there is a threat war or conflicts with influx of immigrants or refugees the liberals might accept to traditional values. During economic boom time conservatives might get their way by saying that too much progress is a threat pointing to damage to environment,  uncertainties due to unseen unknown effects of these changes, employment disparities etc.  However during this period due to material well-being cultural and traditional adjustments to liberal ways are seen.

Almost everyone with an exception of the few feel that there is a need for an authority to maintain order in society. We respect authority. Most people try to please those in authoritative positions. Some admire the ones in authority and see them as achievers where as others despise them and at times enviously wish to see their downfall. Political authority is no different. It is in fact the most powerful territorial authority. In republic or constitutional democracies it’s not just the politicians who are interested in gaining power but also a section of the masses whose support matters. The democratic element in this kind of state apparatus makes it fundamentally a mob rule. The minority’s rights and opinions are disregarded by the majority and seldom granted even if fundamental basic natural human rights are clearly mentioned in the constitutions. Politicians place their strategies in accordance with the opinions and the sentiments of the majority. They propagate ideas which appeals to the majority and the ones they will willfully accept and pledge support to.  This farce is conducted by exploiting crisis and conflicts which are always a part of human society to their benefit. H. L. Mencken, in prejudices, First Series (1919) made a very important remark that “The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.”

The politicians are not alone involved in the election process. Every politician has a set of advisers, policy advisers, speech writers, campaign manager, media personals, stylists and team of political workers who will represent him to campaign in areas where they cannot personally visit. The politician’s personality plays a key role. The politician seldom answers a question in a direct and clear manner. They tend to use rhetoric and vague terms to answers most questions. If you ask a politician what will be their priority after winning the elections; they will give vague answers like: change, growth, development, equality, nation building etc. Thomas Sowell points out that “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” What the politicians utters is always under scrutiny by the media, public, opposition party politicians as well as their own party men with whom he has an internal competition with. The politicians have to be aggressive. He has to create opportunities by finding flaws and criticizing the opposition. Any radical view that the politicians might utter can be exploited by the media and the opposition. Such mistakes can cost the election. Many a times the politician makes a mistake and speaks out his mind. This is called as a gaffe. The media spotlight is on gaffe detection to sell more of their news. The campaign managers manage the campaign. They chalk out the places where the politician must personally visit. These areas of visits are basically the places where the politician has a good chance of winning. Their presence can boost up the confidence in the residents of that constituency thus increasing the chances of winning the electoral seat.  The campaign managers also work to figure out clever campaign slogans which will attract the psyche of the voter and out do the opposition’s slogan. If you wish you could try recalling the previously held elections and the losing party’s slogan. The policy makers work on policy proposals which the politician can promise the masses. It’s not necessary that after getting elected the politician has to fulfill all the promises he made during the campaign and implement all the policy prescriptions. The political campaigns are cost heavy.  The politicians not only have to win the confidence of the voters but to run his campaign he has to raise funds as well. These funds can come from the masses. However the masses rarely donate enough money that can fund the massive election campaign costs. This is where the wealthy anti-capitalist elites seeking special privileges for their interests from the state come into the picture. The politician’s policy makers work out an acceptable policy that the wealthy elites find suitable to their interest which is mostly directed in subsidizing them or bailing out their loss making/nonperforming assets or granting them coercive monopoly licenses or restricting their competition by using cleverly written entry barriers clauses or granting them highly profitable government projects. The politician gets into an agreement that after the elections he would implement the policies which helps their interest in exchange for campaign funds. Many businessmen if they find that a certain politician is most likely to win the election, approaches the politicians campaign managers themselves and donating huge amount of sum for their campaigns. This is why we see politicians are able to spend millions for their campaigns.

The voters also have their own interests. They too seek subsidies and benefits from the state.  All kinds of welfare like free electricity, healthcare, education, infrastructure, homes, jobs, quotas, reservations, insurances, free meal, laws, protection, defense, wars, censorship, control of religious institutions, control of immigrants, environment, wealth equality and all other such stuff are demanded by the masses. Thomas Sowell pointed this mentality of voters who seek welfare entitlement as “One of the consequences of such notions as “entitlements” is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence.” The politician whom the voters feel are more likely to address their interests is most likely to get their vote. Therefore you’ll see every politician promising a bulk load of goodies for the masses. It’s a different matter that they don’t fulfill most of them. The masses are indoctrinated since childhood to worship the state and respect authority. They have always been taught and trained to be conformist.  With the psychic tendency to respect and fear authority even those who do not wish to accept certain views of the politician will still vote for them as they do not wish to be ostracized. The minorities confirms to the fate and know that they have to accept the views of the majority. Even most individuals from the masses don’t see a point in participating in the political process. They know that it’s pointless to vote and nothing much will come out of it. The cost benefit analysis shows that it is pointless for voters to be politically well informed. To stay informed voters must go through painstaking research and of data and educating themselves of both economic and political theory. They too have silently resorted to the helplessness due to the present political set up which refuses to provide any say to them but doesn’t spare them from getting subjugated and pay for the unconsented decisions that the winning party after forming the government will make.

The politicians also need celebrated individuals to recommend them. You’ll find well known artisans, authors, scientists, businessmen, professors, sportsmen, intellectuals and other well-known individuals participating in the election campaign.

Once the election is over a ritualistic oath taking swearing in ceremony will put the winning legislators in power to legislate the masses. Besides this the uniforms of government officials, their huge buildings with specific architectural designs, the political complex jargon language based clauses which they use to form laws and rules, military parades, paying respect to the flag, standing up when the national anthem is played and other such ritualistic or symbolic acts are a mean to demonstrate that they are significant, the authority and create the psychological influence towards the sanction of it.

Lord Acton famously quoted “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Power attracts evil, immoral, unethical and dangerous people from the society. Warmonger are addicted to wage war and get their kick through violence and killing. They glorify wars and consider war as the answer to most conflicts. The ideology of nationalism and patriotism will be propagandized by such bloodshed loving politicians. There are those who believe they can achieve heaven on earth. That they are men sent and selected by gods to serve humanity. They believe they must force other men and stop them from sinning. Punish those who have sinned. Set high moral standards. They believe that evil men must be eliminated or tortured so that they become good. Force for them can be used for moral correction. This is untrue. There are few criminals who change in character and nature after being jailed and tortured.  As soon as they are set free they get back to their old ways. Such myths that violent punishments and laws are the only necessary means of deterrence against the criminal mind are put into our mind since childhood. This is necessary for authority to do so that we remain convinced for life that violence is the way to manage society and fear violence in our own lives. Most of us do not think of violent methods. The shopkeepers, laborers, workers, businessmen, factory owners, farmers and others do not think that they will sell their goods or get services by the use of threats and coercions. Most of us prefer peaceful cooperation of trade and commerce over violence. This is evident from the way society is naturally arranged and operates since history.  It’s only certain kinds of individuals who believe in violence and they are the kind of people attracted to power as it the only way which can serve their interests. The first thing they do not respect is property rights and ownership.

The state’s higher authority seats have nearly absolute power such as the “Presidents” or “Prime Ministers”. After getting into power, power plays on their psyche. They become addicted to it. They feel they can bend the laws of nature and especially that of economics. They lose touch with reality. They tend to become more apathetic, less sensitive towards their own, extreme narcissists, aggressive and authoritarian. They urge to get more control under themselves, put themselves above the law and demand obedience from all by setting new rules and laws for them. Coercion, black mail, threats, exploitation and extortion becomes they means in time. Abuse of positions of power is a well-known fact of ruling class. The politicians either wants to loot the wealthy under the pretense of income distribution by appealing to the sentiments of the lower income classes or they will help their wealthy friends to gain more wealth by promising more economic growth to the lower income classes. Communism and socialism demands nationalization and state control of private means of production. Liberal and fascist countries gives numerous benefits monopolistic licenses, exclusive access to mineral wealth, subsidies, bailouts, tax benefits, duty exemptions and tax holidays to the wealthy elites. These tax related benefits to them helps these wealthy elites to create mega-corps. Due to tax factors being lower to negligible for them enable them to sell their goods at lower prices than their competitors who enjoy no such benefits. This is one of the major reasons why certain businessmen fund politician’s election campaigns in order to get them elected.

Not all wealthy entrepreneurs and capitalists are of this mentality. The state needs money to spend as well as politicians knows that their terms are limited. Therefore they must loot as much as possible as soon as possible. Taxing people will affect their re-election. There won’t be new funding till the next elections. Unfortunately they have the authority to legislate business and market. A legislative bill with respect to the economy serves as a great way to get more funds and bribes from the wealthy elites. There are two kinds of bills that the politicians use. One is termed as the “milker bill” and the other one is called “toll bridge bill”.

A milker bill is a type of bill which is written in a way which will alarm the business sector. It is designed in a way which sounds bad for specific sector or segment of businesses. The businessmen will then line up, lobby and bribe the politicians to stop the bill from passing. Such bills include increasing duty for certain goods, putting a quota over the quantity of goods one can import or export, put in new license and regulatory requirements which most businesses cannot meet, outright banning of goods etc. are some examples of milker bills. Once the bribes are received such bills are put off from being tabled or are defeated in the house.

A toll bridge bill is a bill which will do well for the business as well as the people. Examples of such bills are like deregulation, subsidizing the products, tax benefits to the sector, lowering or removal of duty over those goods etc. The politicians will draft the bill and inform the media that such a bill is being thought over and will be tabled soon.  The people and businessmen think it will be tabled soon. When the bill is not tabled and consumers lower their consumption expecting lower priced goods to arrive soon in the future the businessmen has a problem now. The politicians on the other hand won’t table the bill until and unless some businessmen bribes to do so. These are the tricks how the state exploits businesses and the masses.

Our faith in politics over economics is one of the major reasons why we still have conflicts and scarcity. The market efficiently today provides all those goods and services which once the government said only they could provide due to the huge investments required for them. Unfortunately huge investments were made via investors on various companies which planned for projects which required huge investments. This is far more efficient way of raising the infrastructure costs than taxation. The state interventions still creates a problem for most businesses to function efficiently and serve customers requirements. Both the masses and the politicians believe that economic decisions on how society must be arranged can be taken by them, put into a policy and enforced. However the laws of economics cannot be changed by political policies. Thomas Sowell made some important observations from the economist’s point of view. He said “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

The system of economics is not simply concerned with production of goods and services or the optimum amount of money in the economy. It deals with the study of all human actions. Economics tells us how social phenomenon works and how we can economize and utilize scarce resources. Economy is a system where there is scarcity of resources. A system where there is infinite supply of goods like the “Garden of Eden” cannot be considered as an economy.  Politicians and masses do not like economics. They consider it to be a dismissal science. It’s true that we can consider most of the mainstream economics at play and practice to be defunct and their economics as dismissal science. However economics is a science and with the correct methodology (like from the theory from Austrian school of economic thought) it’s quite effective in explaining the social world to us. There are many things which we feel is possible if we can somehow organize society and force people to behave in certain ways. Economics most of the times tells them that what they are advocating and planning to try won’t be possible. We can fantasize that if we make healthcare free we’ll get a healthy world. Such fantasizes are proposed during elections and fought on. Many of such policies are enacted as laws. The results are devastating. The basic of economics tells us that no resources are free and abundant. “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” goes the famous saying.  Economics tells us central planning is not only inefficient but impossible. These findings of economics are against the interest of politics and politicians. Economic knowledge enlightens and helps the masses to understand social happening much better. If the masses start to analyze and figure out the outcome of proposed policies as well as the promises of these politicians to check even if they are possible or plausible; that should mean the end of the political business and the ruling oligarch. Thus economic knowledge is kept away from the masses. Instead they are presented with education which seldom serves to liberate them but to keep them subjugated and dependent on the political system.  The intellectuals hired as economists, consultants and policy makers are part of the state machinery. Thomas Sowell warned us about these intellectuals by stating that “Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God” and that “too often what are called “educated” people are simply people who have been sheltered from reality for years in ivy-covered buildings. Those whose whole careers have been spent in ivy-covered buildings, insulated by tenure, can remain adolescents on into their golden retirement years”

The political system is an irresponsible system. The politician pays no price for being wrong. The policy maker’s pays no price for being wrong. The economists pay no price for being wrong. Thomas Sowell states “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” The price is paid by us. It’s we who are harmed.

The political system must be discarded at the soonest. To do so self-enlightenment by learning economics and logical reasoning is vital. System which operates on individual liberties and voluntary participation like the anarchy of market works more efficiently to address our wants. Ideas of “Agorism” and market anarchy must be practiced by us to break free off the existing system. To sum up the political system nothing can be far from the truth and facts pointed out by Thomas Sowell:

“No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems.  They are trying to solve their own problems—of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two.  Whatever is number three is far behind”

“The welfare state is not really about the welfare of the masses.  It is about the egos of the elites.”

“If the battle for civilization comes down to the wimps versus the barbarians, the barbarians are going to win”

“Understanding the limitations of human beings is the beginning of wisdom.”

“One of the painful signs of years of dumbed-down education is how many people are unable to make a coherent argument. They can vent their emotions, question other people’s motives, make bold assertions, and repeat slogans– anything except reason.”

 

Sources and credits:

Peter Schweizer Speaks at YAF Conference: http://youtu.be/oZo_CiysrMk

Thomas Sowell various quotes and political vs economic decision making: http://youtu.be/zByuQPichGY

Michael Huemer – The Irrationality of Politics http://youtu.be/4JYL5VUe5NQ Problems of Political Authority https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXBCD-bJ5wY

The Psychology of Politics – Professor Glenn D Wilson http://youtu.be/sus0-3upvuA

American Military Leaders Urge President Truman not to Drop the Atomic Bomb http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/atomicdec.htm

Serial killers and politicians share traits http://www.examiner.com/article/serial-killers-and-politicians-share-traits

Let us argue!!

My article on http://indianlibertarians.org/2013/09/29/let-us-argue/

Arguments are essential to the foundation to economic reasoning and thought. Arguments are the building blocks for us to construct and reconstruct the society. Arguments are what we’ll use to diagnose phenomenon, describe a phenomenon, extract truth, rationalize our actions, justify actions to validate if they are ethical and moral and falsify philosophical as well as ideological beliefs. Arguing and arguments are studied under logic, economics and philosophy. Arguments are necessary for scientific reasoning. Critical thinking involves arguments. No intellectual realization and even instigation of the intellect can be achieved without arguments. Arguments will clearly point out agreements, disagreements and intentional ignoring which takes place between more than one individuals or groups. Argumentation is the reason for the orderly soundness we see in society and the disorder resulting due to lack of it or improper argumentation.
What are arguments?

Arguments are made in natural language. An argument is an attempt to persuade someone of something, by giving logical reasons for accepting a particular conclusion as evident.

Argument is defined as a group of statements, in which some of them (the premises) are intended to support another statement (the conclusion). A premise is an assumption that something is true. A premise is basically a statement. In logic, an argument requires a set of (at least) two declarative sentences (or “propositions”) known as the premises along with another declarative sentence (or “proposition”) known as the conclusion.

Propositions are truth statements or the primary bearers of truth-value.

For example:

Socrates is a Man

All men are mortal
Types of Logical Arguments

There are two important types of Logical arguments: Deductive and Inductive or a priori and a posteriori.

A deductive argument:

Most Austrian Economists and Praxeologist use a priori or deductive reasoning for their arguments. A deductive argument is an argument whose conclusion necessarily follows from the truth of the premises. It follows a top-down approach. A deductive argument is “valid” if it is successful in providing logical support for its conclusion. A “valid” deductive argument is such that if all its premises are true, it is guaranteed that the conclusion must be true. This means, that if all premises are true, there is no possible way that the conclusion could be false. We say that a deductive statement is “invalid” if the truth of the premises does not guarantee that the conclusion must be true.

Note that while using logic “valid” is not a synonym for true. It simply refers to the fact that the argument is correctly constructed or that it has the necessary logical structure.
Examples of simple deductive arguments:
A logically valid statement

Premise 1: All politicians are liars.

Premise 2: Ram is a politician.

Conclusion: Therefore it follows that Ram is a liar.

Premise 1: All men are mortal

Premise 2: I am a man

Conclusion: Therefore it follows that I am mortal

Here you can see that the conclusion follows directly from the premises.
A logically invalid statement

Premise 1: All politicians are liars.

Premise 2: All car salesmen are liars.

Conclusion: Therefore it follows that all politicians are car salesmen.

Here you can see that the conclusion doesn’t logically follow the premises and thus the attempt to deduct a proper conclusion fails even when the premises are true.

An Inductive argument:

Inductive arguments are based on proofs. Inductive argument is reasoning in which the premises seek to supply strong evidence for (not absolute proof of) the truth of the conclusion. While the conclusion of a deductive argument is supposed to be certain, the truth of an inductive argument is supposed to be probable, based upon the evidence given. In other words an inductive argument is an argument that is intended to provide “probabilistic support” for its conclusion, but not logically conclusive support for its conclusion. An inductive argument is such that is all true the conclusion is possibly true or more likely to be true but not necessarily to be true.

The argumentative structure of an inductively strong argument doesn’t guarantee that if all the premises are true, the conclusion must necessarily be true. However if the conclusion is highly probable then it should be generally accepted. An inductively strong argument with true premises is said to be cogent.
Examples of Inductive Arguments

Premise 1: Most dogs have fleas.

Premise 2: Tommy is a dog.

Conclusion: Therefore it follows that Tommy probably has fleas.

Strong Inductive Argument:

Premise 1: 100% of biological life forms need liquid water to survive

Premise 2: All life forms is a biological life form.

Conclusion: Therefore it follows that, life forms probably needs liquid form of water to survive.

This argument could have been made every time a new biological life form was found, and would have been correct every time; this does not mean it is impossible that in the future a biological life form that does not require water could be discovered.
Weak Inductive argument

Premise 1: 98% people are taller than 4 feets

Premise 2: Ram is a person

Conclusion: Therefore, Ram is probably taller than 4 feets

Here we cannot be sure if Ram is part of 98% or 2% and if his height is more than 4 feets or not.

A deductive argument must have true premises. A sound argument is a good argument which gives you good reasons for accepting its conclusion.

Deductively valid but false argument

Premise 1: All pigs can fly.

Premise 2: Popo is a pig.

Conclusion: Therefore it follows that Popo can fly.

Deductively valid arguments can have true or false premises and true of false conclusions.

They can have:

False Premises and a false conclusion
False Premises and a true conclusion
True Premises and a true conclusion

There is no sliding scale for deductive arguments. They are either true or false

Inductive arguments are probabilistic and thus they can be scaled. Inductive arguments conclusion can be scaled in terms of very unlikely, unlikely, possible, probable, likely and highly likely.

How to tactfully argue?

I will take the help of Paul Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement to show different type of arguments starting from the lowest point.
Name-calling

Name calling is the lowest form of argument.

Person A is stupid, You’re an idiot.. no you’re and idiot etc

are examples of name calling arguments. These are weak arguments and engaging in such argumentsare fruitless with respect to truth finding.
Ad Hominen

An ad hominem attack is not quite as weak as mere name-calling. It might actually carry some weight.

For example a remark like this “Of course he is arrogant he is rich that’s why”, “Boss prefers her because she is a woman” etc

would be ad hominem arguments. Mostly ad hominent statements are made to appeal feelings and prejudice. These arguments are also fruitless and better to be avoided.
Responding to Tone

The entire focus in such argument moves away from the content to the “tone” of the argument.

For example “How dare you”, “I can’t believe how you could reject my proposal” etc

are the stimuli gesturing a non neutral tone. Such arguments will shift the focus from the content to counter reactions like “mind your tongue” and “mind your language” type of responses. Again in such type of arguments it’s better to focus on the content and logically question them rather than attacking the tone.
Contradiction

In such arguments a statement will be made in contradiction to point without any evidence or little evidence. But this is also the state where you start getting answers which are not based on who and whoms.

The most controversial claims are contradictory in nature. Our society is full of such contradictory ideological beliefs. An example of an contradictory statement can be “there is no such thing as a falsehood; a man must either say what is true or say nothing” or “How can you argue for vegetarianism when you wear leather shoes?” or “I never meant that”

Contradictory statements are easily recognized to be contradictory in content or a contradicting shift it ones stand. Contradictions are easily falsified as their premises are contradictory.
Counterargument

These are the arguments where we get logical disagreements. Counterarguments are done against a flaw in our own arguments. This is meaningful while arguing and serves a purpose. Counterargument is contradiction plus reasoning and/or evidence. When aimed squarely at the original argument, it can be convincing. Most of the time counterarguments are used to deviate from the point and hijack the discussion altogether. One should take care of such attempts of deviating from the topic .
Refutation

The most convincing form of disagreement is refutation. Here you will break up the premises and falsify them. A legitimate logic refutation of the fallacies of argument deducts the irrelevant and makes it easier to reach conclusions. A refutation may be partial refutation of the argument.
Refuting the Central Point

Every argument has a central point. Most arrived conclusions are the central points of the argument. A logical refutation of the central point itself is the most forceful. Refutation of the central point is a true refutation.

For example:

The arguer’s main point seems to be x. As he says:

But this is wrong for the following reasons…

Arguments are required for critical thinking and reasoning. An argument helps to discipline thinking with regards to evaluate information and evaluate your own thoughts. Arguments will help you to create your own effective solutions to various problems in life. Arguments will help you to properly diagnose different happenings in society. Arguments will help you to pinpoint and minimize biasing influence from culture and upbringing. It will help you to be guided by knowledge and evidence that explains the truth even if it refutes your cherish beliefs.

Unlike the Austrian School of Economic thought other schools of thoughts do not stick to deductive reasoning or a priori reasoning. They rely on inductive reasoning and rely mostly on empirical date, co-relations statistical data. This leaves room for biases and untrue ideas to be mistaken for truth. One must also be careful with deductive reasoning to ensure that the premises are true and the conclusion logical follows the premises. Deductive reasoning thus leaves little scope for error and the conclusions can be easily accepted to be the truth. The more we move away from the truth and arrive at rash conclusions, mystification, reluctant to question ideas or authority or tradition; we’ll end up with messed up society which will get more complicated to resolve in later stages for us.

Let us argue and create intellectual independent individuals for a better world.

Boston Bombing and the blame on Islam

First and foremost let me put forth that I condemn all forms of aggression, violence and use of force except for just reasons like self defense. I find anti islamic updates pasted all over my Facebook newsfeed as well as in the main media which is full of posts like the one here.

Of course now one of the religion and the followers of that religion will be blamed, hated and socially outcast… Every now and then they will be hurled by racial, sick and derogatory remarks. And most will claim themselves to be irreligious or atheist  or agnostic… until… you start questioning theirs.

After lot of questioning myself, reasoning and closely interacting with the religious bigots and the anti-religious/agnostic/atheist retards.. I can safely say that the religious and religion has not much to contribute to the violent episodes that takes place in human society. It might be that mostly these violence takes place under the excuse of religion.

The birth and existence of all religion is a natural social phenomena. It is a product coming out of the social cooperation of many individuals and the behavior of us as human. In the ancient era early religions used to be philosophical in nature. Man in those days used to look up only to religion for answers as well as explanation about the workings of the physical. spiritual as well as the mystical world. Religion also used to philosophize and tried to figure out answers to mans every question. Let me also point out that in those days the field of science had not advanced nor was developed  as we see it currently. Scientific methodology and explanation plays a critical role in our lives these days but we must also account that the average man has average knowledge on matter of science. To make matters worst for the average man; science is a specialized subject and thus it is not easy for those who are not specialized in it to interpret all the scientific theories and research correctly. Also human beings are not machines nor mathematical model which science can explain and figure out completely. Science can explain that what happens in the brain while meditating or why are humans religious in nature; but it can never derive laws which will hold true for every mans behavior.

Most religion now a days are no more philosophical or scientific in nature. Religion has become a cult. For long time now, religion has been nothing more than ritualistic practices and parroting ancient thoughts.  Thus the old religion which used to be philosophical in nature is dead in this age.

Religion and scientific point of views and methodology to explain various subjects differ vastly. For example if man goes out to seek answer on “why some people are rich and why some are poor”; religion and economics will have different explanation for it. The only difference is that religion sets up a list of do’s and don’t and wants every one to adhere to it for a better world. Economics is however boring subject and economic ignorance is tolerable.

I conclude from my diagnosis as well as analysis of religious that the key fact remains that by nature the human brain tends to believe, ignore facts and data and remain bias to certain beliefs and we tend to control what we believe should be controlled. The logical analysis, rationalizing, diagnosing, thinking, elimination of bias, detecting deceptions, etc are not what comes to the human mind naturally but we have to train our brains to do it.  To be honest most of us have untrained brained which is wild and yet to be tamed.

Sources:

http://youtu.be/lnMkHB0vNCE

http://mises.org/books/socialism/part4_ch29.aspx

Observation on Indian history and Historians

My reading of historical accounts of India in my attempts to understand its past and present, has made few things clear.

  • There is a great degree of cognitive biases and confirmation biases. Both Indian and Outside accounts are full of fallacies.
  • Historians have failed to see that events that took place in history are complex phenomenon. The events were results of multiple elements contributing to it. A mere collection and arrangement of facts doesn’t lead to correct interpretation of the account. Hence the approach of the historians to interpret history is absolutely wrong.
  • Most of the historical evidence and records are lost in time. Thus no firm grounding can be made by mere examination of artifacts and narratives.
  • Politicization of entire history. Misquoting people, out of context references, partial references, forced correlation of unrelated events, unscientific claims on scientific methodology, etc are the reasons we are unable to extract  the actual causes and any learning.
  • Human actions, our behavior and laws of nature are consistent over time. Evolutionary changes of human beings generally spans over thousands or hundreds of thousands of years.  Hence it plays a very little part in interpreting historical accounts of a shorter time period. The theory which governs human society today can be applied to understand our past as well as allow us to predict the outcome of present actions in our future.

I must quote Ludwig Von Mises to conclude my point

History speaks only to those people who know how to interpret it.

A small critique of Swami Vivekananda

I consider Swami Vivekananda, a political ideology revivalist rather than someone who enriched philosophy. This is my personal view and it comes from my perspective. The projection and glorification of few of his philosophical teachings urged me to examine them a little bit more. Will his teachings and philosophy really solve the problems of human society? It is beyond my scope and interest to examine each and every work of his but here is one article which I was reading: http://www.globalpolitician.com/print.asp?id=7210

Here is what I understand it.

“In Buddha we had the great, universal heart and infinite patience, making religion practical and bringing it to everyone’s door. In Shankaracharaya we saw tremendous intellectual power, throwing the scorching light of reason upon everything. We want today that bright sum of intellectuality joined with the heart of Buddha, the wonderful infinite heart of love and mercy. The union will give us the highest philosophy. Science and religion will meet and shake hands. Poetry and philosophy will become friends…”

In other words a simple propaganda of two religions. Almost all of us understand love and mercy. But there are some absolutely apathetic, without any mercy or love in their personality. Reasoning and emotions do not mix, they interfere with each other. Do we not know how under influence of emotions we have given up on reasoning? Reasoning is valueless and without bias. Therefore reasoning can only show what may be the consequences of a particular action or the cause. Emotion can make you over see the cause and make you bias. Poetry and philosophy are two different things. Wisdom is used to derive set of hypothesis. Hypothesis are not absolute. Hypothesis can be refuted Empirical cannot be refuted. Prose and poetry is literary. Literary requires wisdom but doesn’t give birth to wisdom. I wonder what hypothetical result can you get by writing theory as poetry. Leave the poet and the philosopher alone.

“The Vedanta recognizes no sin, it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta, is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.”

Again nothing but political talk. If a person commits a crime.. will it be sin or an error? Suppose a man stationed at out nearest nuclear reactor commits an error and the entire regions life is wiped out.. shall we consider that man a sinner or just and error? Should we expect remorse from that man who committed the error? I think we all know that the about chant of greatest error doesn’t blend in too well.

“As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God.”

Doesn’t hold for the one who doesn’t have the concept of supernatural. Best left to the mind with the rigid belief and emotional system to interpret this. Different streams has flows in different geography but have the same dynamics. When it comes to god and his words, each definition and description of “god” is different. These definitions for example if the god has form or formless simply shows a contradiction which cannot be fused. Empirical evidence shows it has not fused and attempts to fuse didn’t lead to cooperation and peaceful coexistence.

“The Atman [self] emerges as the most important concept in the philosophy of the Vedanta. In the Kothopnishad [hymn-20] is has been glorified as the greatest of the great. The purpose behind this glorification is for humans to acquire ability and power, to encompass and realize his duties and responsibilities to achieve the most important goal in life; to make him perceive clarity and truth, and through this to develop the spirit of universalism in him so that the pathway of universal welfare could transform into reality. Isavasya Upanishad’s stress that “the person who indeed clearly perceives all creatures and objects in the Atman [soul] only, and accepts in all creatures and objects the [presence of] Atman [soul], he does not wish or want concealment”, could be observed in this very perspective.”

Man doesn’t have any duties. Binding a new born to so called duties and responsibilities, which he may not find acceptable when he reaches the age of reason, is simply slavery. Man is free to renounce what he doesn’t accept or find to be in his self interest. Man has the capability to reason. The ability to reason differs from individuals to individual. The individual acts and gets consequences of his actions. This is universal law of nature which cannot be bend by assigning duties and responsibilities. Man and animal are two different entities who has different rights. An doesn’t recognize the mans right. Man has compassion and the ability to understand rights of each other. But this doesn’t give animals the equal rights that of a man. Man must recognize this fact first that rights exists only between those who has the natural ability to recognize it. Then he can rationalize his actions to consume animal products or not; to domesticate animals for laborious tasks or not, etc. Most men has compassion and will remain compassionate towards other living beings. Those who lack compassion towards animals cannot be turned into a compassionate man by assigning duties and responsibilities on him. Such men cannot be stopped from harming animals by laws. But as man and animal do not share the same rights we cannot rationalize it or stop him from doing what nature has made him capable to do.  Thus it will be necessary for us to recognize that animals and plants must be treated as claimed or unclaimed property. If a man buys a goat, it becomes his property. What he does with the goat remains entirely his business. If a man finds an untamed animal, adopts him and domesticates him or able to trap an animal, it then becomes his property. Such ownership claims has to be established and only then man and animal can coexist in harmony.

The Kothopnishad Hymn as well as Swami Vivekananda is not completely incorrect when they talk about the glorification of the soul. In fact we must recognize the self and self interest. I would like to shift the soul to the self and reconstruct the philosophy (not doctrine).

One must recognize the self and self interests to be able to take decisions. Once we start rationalizing and reasoning things from the self’s perspective,  then only we can understand our actions and try to find out what will be the consequences of our action. Remember that the choice to act with respect to consequences of that action is independent of compassionate or not to be compassionate. For example if a person knows that if he tortures animals he will be condemned by his friends and family members then even if that individual who is not compassionate towards animals will reconsider his actions before doing it.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: My views on absurd Liberals and so called Fake Libertarians

Hey folks.

There are many numbers of people claiming themselves to be liberals and libertarians. They present themselves to be the liberator of people from tyranny, honest, intellectuals, capable, brave and bold individuals who can take a strong stand in defence of liberty. It’s a myth that all of them even if they call themselves so, become a torch bearer of liberty.

Being fascinated by the philosophy of Liberty, Equality and Free Market Capitalism especially “Classical Liberalism” they tend to jump in to confuse themselves and others without really examining the concepts or understanding them.

Loosely speaking liberalism has been founded on the ideas of liberty and equality. ‘By definition’, Maurice Cranston rightly points out, ‘a liberal is a man who believes in liberty’ (1967: 459). In two different ways, liberal accord liberty primacy as a political value. (i) Liberals have typically maintained that humans are naturally in ‘a State of perfect Freedom to order their Actions… as they think fit… without asking leave, or depending on the Will of any other Man’.

Classical Liberalism revolves around the degree of liberty and rights an individual possesses. A philosophy founded in the late 18th century in Europe. As there are differences in beliefs, there are different breeds of Classical Liberals. One must now question how do these classical liberals arrive at different conclusions on how much liberty are they willing to offer to individuals and why they differ. On rating scale the range of liberty must be in between zero liberty to absolute liberty. One must start questioning these liberals and libertarians on accounts of their measurement of the amount of liberty they believe in and their consistency on various conditions. One must question them why and what happens when an individual is given more liberty than they think it ought to be the limit. They seldom give a proper answer to that.

The so called liberals and libertarians will talk about freedom, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness all the time. Before it became “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of American Independence, John Locke wrote that man has a right to “life, liberty, and property” and that is what it is.

Now what is “Life, Liberty and Property” supposed to mean? Does “Life” mean in medical science or the anti-abortion movement or anti-death penalty movements, etc or does it mean everything that attributes and can be related to the word and the meaning of life? Does it not sound funny when a liberal or a libertarian justifies anti-abortion bill but supports the wars in which innocent civilians of all ages, born unborn are bombed? On one hand they will support sexual liberation of women and other hand they will bar her from deciding if she can terminate her pregnancy. How do their arguments on the justification of importance to life coincide with two contrasting situations of these scenarios?

Let’s now get into the Liberty part: We know that liberty is the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life. This is where the Isiah Berlin’s concept of two liberties comes in.

Isaiah Berlin advocated a negative conception of liberty:

I am normally said to be free to the degree to which no man or body of men interferes with my activity. Political liberty in this sense is simply the area within which a man can act unobstructed by others. If I am prevented by others from doing what I could otherwise do, I am to that degree unfree; and if this area is contracted by other men beyond a certain minimum, I can be described as being coerced, or, it may be, enslaved. Coercion is not, however, a term that covers every form of inability. If I say that I am unable to jump more than ten feet in the air, or cannot read because I am blind… it would be eccentric to say that I am to that degree enslaved or coerced. Coercion implies the deliberate interference of other human beings within the area in which I could otherwise act. You lack political liberty or freedom only if you are prevented from attaining a goal by other human beings (Berlin, 1969: 122).

For Berlin and those who follow him, then, the heart of liberty is the absence of coercion by others; consequently, the liberal state’s commitment to protecting liberty is, essentially, the job of ensuring that citizens do not coerce each other without compelling justification. So understood, negative liberty is an opportunity-concept. Being free is merely a matter of what we can do, what options are open to us, regardless of whether or not we exercise such options (Taylor, 1979).

Most liberals and libertarians would go all day ranting about the necessity of “absence of coercion by others” but then they will come up with a list of a thousand scenarios where they want to prevent you from attending your goals without harming any other individual. For example they believe that under circumstances like war it is justified to coerce individuals to fight for the nation, they feel it necessary to force and educate children in schools, they feel it necessary to force money and other resources out of peoples pocket who are anti-war to buy weapons for protection of theirs as well as others. They believe that force can be initiated on any individual if it for some social benefit or public goods. It sounds pretty mild but when a concept called as “social contract” is flung at your face with the name of welfare then you realize the gravity of the situation. Suppose in the name of humanity a liberal government like we see in the USA and Europe enters a war with its neighbouring nation and enforce conscription. Imagine you are the sole child or your parents or a father of a new-born child from a blind wife. There is no doubt that you love your fellow men and your nation, but you find it better to relocate to a safer place for the sake of your family. In other words you hold duties towards your family before your duty to fight wars for your country. Under the philosophy of liberty you are entitled to take such decisions. But you would find most liberals and libertarians wouldn’t agree that you have so called rights where you can refute a social contract and you are justified in doing so. Such liberals and libertarians call for increasing troops, interventionist foreign policies, supports militarism and conscription if necessary. However they in the same breath will hold that society constitutes of individuals and individuals are free to make and follow their own decisions. This is another paradox of theirs masked under the name of social contract.

Property: For most ‘Property’ is understood only as land and buildings if they are owned by private individuals or group or by public. However it can also be more accurately defined as something tangible or intangible to which its owner has exclusive rights on what they possess to do whatever they please to do with it. How the individual utilize their properties should be free from intervention until and unless they are not violating property rights of anyone else property rights. Property rights are essential to define justice and rationalize arguments. They must be fact based or result based judgement rather than “value based judgements”. Every human action yields a result. These results are relative to different individuals in different ways as per their “value” assessment.  Suppose there are two individuals who entered holy matrimony.. Does this give them rights over each other’s bodies and life? If we look at our present society and its law.. It tends to do so in many instances. For example in India.. It is legal to marital rape of a wife if they are not separated. This law implies and considers the use of force justified for the so called legal husband to violate the private property.. That is the body of his spouse for his physical needs under the protection of the state. If I ask these so called fake liberals and libertarians they normally support such violations under the social contract. They justify that post marriage two individuals become one and that is the contract between them. Assuming this is true I wonder if I am the husband and my wife’s body is mine as per the contract of marriage then I can commit half a suicide by killing half part of my body which belongs to my wife. As we see the latter is an absurd and immoral argument. This is a violation of private property rights so was the former. These so called liberals and fake libertarians has utter disregard for property rights. You’ll find that they choose sides to justify the role of governments and its actions which suits their needs.

Libertarians are those who understand and take into account the natural laws from which the property rights are derived and hence a real libertarian will not be suggesting gender biased laws. Such laws and hype create gender differences. Across the globe.. Divorce laws are stacked against men as a general rule of the thumb.

Now having given you a minor insight into these absurd justifications on property rights it is essential to blast off some of the views that they hold on equality and democracy.

Respectfully, we must ask these liberals and libertarians what is it that they mean when they mean by equality? Does equality mean everyone should undergo genetic engineering and clone themselves as one another so that they are equal? Well.. Science tells us even with the exact biology or behaviour will not be same. The other question one must ask if we decide to clone every human being to be identical then probably we would decide it should be the smartest man ever. The contender to this theory would make Albert Einstein stand out as an exception. It would seem to genetically modify every new birth so that everyone is as smart as Albert Einstein. However when you’ll be carving for a cup of coffee or may require a maid to do the household work there will be a conflict as why should I do it as I am as good as you. This puts a serious concern on division of labour and individual interests.  Why and how shall we decide which Einstein should solve complex math equations and which one should go in the kitchen to serve him coffee?

In another context suppose there is a lady who gives birth to twins and one of the babies has polio.. The only way to make them equal is to infect another one with polio or whatever excess he produces is taken away from him to balance out his underprivileged brother. In this example we see a conflict of value judgements if it is moral to impose on the healthier brother to keep the not so healthier restricted brother by polio to live up to the same standards. Such crucial questions give rise to politics and split into groups of special interests. We know that if the healthier brother is restricted by force to help out his unlucky brother.. That might breed hatred in him and might deter him from using his unknown potential to limit due to emotional factors. These absurd liberals and libertarians won’t be able to explain real life examples like these.

Compassion is a human nature. We know from history that a rich Prince called Siddhartha become Mahatma Budh or Gautam Buddha by his own will. Same example of an emperor called Ashoka. Alexander the Great who desired to rule the world gave back Porus his kingdom. Such example shows that good deeds are voluntary in nature and exists between classes. Hence there is no need for coercion. These examples are not rare but seen in day to day life across centuries. The question that most ask is how do we help those who are deprived of basic property rights to make their lives better? Such examples will be Bill Gates, Warren Buffet who wrote off their wealth which they acquired by trade and not coercion with those who needed it the most.

These fake libertarians would celebrate and quote such examples and in the same breath talk about why government should tax such wealthy people to achieve equality in our society. I always ask myself how does pulling someone who has achieved more than me down to my level serve humanity.

The other thing you’ll hear from them is democracy. Democracy simply means that if the majority wants their way.. The minority must accept with no regards to the outcome of those actions. This is the purest form of democracy and also called as direct democracy. Its simply mob rule or mobocracy and a mild version of communism. They can never explain why one in a billion can be correct in their assessment of what must be done to meet certain ends, which the billion others have failed to achieve so far. For example in Indian context.. Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent civil disobedience movement was considered stupid by both the Indian national congress and the British government until they felt the effects of it. This mean to meet the end which was freedom from imperial power was only achieved by one in billion Indian’s namely Gandhi. The Liberal Party of India, Indian National Congress, etc. were planning other means which may have never resulted in meeting the ends which India was seeking. The failure of violent revolt made it evident that violence is not the only mean to reach freedom.

Democracy doesn’t align in any form whatsoever with individual liberty nor can a mob match the capability of that of an individual.

The so called absurd Liberals and fake Libertarians will emphasis on democracy and will talk about the limited role of government, constitution, strong laws, strong policies etc. These words are pleasing to hear and on examination they would propose the same set of rules with a change of clause here and there. We have seen no government ever in history limited and bound to the constitution. We have seen no government ever which efficiently protects people’s life, liberty and property.  In fact governments’ ability in these so called limited roles of policing, providing defence and delivering justice is questionable in itself. Police harassment, police brutality, tyranny by military, rising crime, increasing violence, etc shows the extent to which government has failed even in these roles. Judges are passing verdicts which are perverted and senseless. Thousands of innocent men and women caged up in jails without trial. When their innocence is proved the only compensation they get is a little sum of money from the government. However if an individual commits a grave mistake chances are that he might be hanging from the noose. The government has zero defence capability as you can that they cannot protect you from any form of attack by other nations or terrorists. They cannot even manage the border as we see with the rising number of immigrants without proper documentations who manage to sneak through. These are mostly poor people from poor neighbouring nation, who cross over in search of livelihood. Mostly such immigrant problem you’ll find where there is a powerful nation, capable to dominate, threaten and destroy the economy of its neighbours. The military is however good at aggression, forever eager to go at war: to murder, plunder, rape and pillage.

Let’s look at such liberals and libertarians in India and if they even qualify as someone who is a vanguard of freedom or yet another one of these fascist socialist democrats nitwits who suddenly feels freedom is a good thing.. But hey, not too much.

Most of our Indian liberals and so called libertarians are in a strong welfare state. In the same breath they never cease to criticize government failures on the provision of welfare. They quote over and over again those intellectuals who proved it why welfare is a bad thing.  For gaining sentiments they would speak like most right wingers about the golden Indian era and also the liberal attitude of the British Government which benefited India. Most of them assume that Mahatma Gandhi was a true libertarian. Fundamentally and technically if you compare their views with the philosophies of classical liberalism and those of libertarians, they are way apart. Mahatma Gandhi comes close to preaching and practicing many of these noble teachings and way of life which lies in those libertarian philosophies. A real libertarian has never proposed democracy. Mahatma Gandhi did propose democracy and was faced with a dilemma on how to avoid the use of coercive force. He also created a cult called Gandhism which limited individual liberties of many people who may have followed a life they preferred.

The current Indian liberals worry me as they misinform and misguide the people. The rights to this and the right to that.. is another means to gain control and popularity of those who are unaware.

If you examine the views of the following groups and individuals, you would find that they do not believe in absolute freedom to individual but have their own version of mild socialism.

Political parties

This is a list of both past and present political parties with liberal views.

  • National Liberal Federation of India
  • Swatantra Party
  • Swatantra Bharat Party
  • Liberal Party of India
  • Swatantra Gokhale Party
  • Lok Satta Party

Other liberal organizations

  • Centre for Civil Society
  • Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
  • Freedom First
  • Freedom Team of India
  • India Policy Institute
  • Indian Liberal Group
  • Janaagraha
  • Liberty Institute
  • Manushi
  • Praja Foundation
  • Shetkari Sangathana

Prominent Indian Liberals

Pre-Independence

  • Raja Ram Mohun Roy
  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale
  • Gandhi

Swatantra Party

  • C. Rajagopalachari a.k.a. Rajaji
  • Minoo Masani
  • B.R. Shenoy

Swatantra Bharat Party

  • Sharad Joshi

Liberal Party of India

  • Sanjeev Sabhlok
  • Gurcharan Das

Lok Satta Party

  • Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan

Contemporary Indian Liberals

  • Jagdish Bhagwati
  • Deepak Lal
  • Parth J. Shah, Founder President, Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi.
  • Madhu Kishwar, Founder, Manushi
  • S.V. Raju, President, Indian Liberal Group
  • Surjeet Bhalla
  • Shekhar Gupta

The liberal organizations are special interest groups which are interested in using the government for interest of certain groups of people or region. Liberate the farmers, liberate the backward classes, liberate women etc. They are talking about minority rights under democratic framework, a kind of reservation at the expense and cost of under group. Totally inconsistent with the philosophy of liberty and hence they cannot be termed liberals at all. The rest of the organization who were a part of the government at some point of their life and still wish to use government power to force people into freedom that they deem fit. In other words “You are free to do as we ask you to do”. This again as you see is not freedom but a dictatorship. The other liberal organizations are mere training institutes earning money from aspirant policy makers who wish to better themselves, IAS students, journalists and those who wish to learn how to exploit and expropriate by sweet talks by selling the illusion of freedom which they don’t really believe in themselves.

I would choose one such political party to put across my point and you’ll see the inconsistencies with liberalism and freedom. I choose this party probably because this is currently the most prominent one. Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan has his own outfit called the Lok Satta (People’s Rule). Every objective of the party deals with Socialist ideas of welfare like free education, free health care, farmers’ schemes, subsidies, government projects, regulations etc. All political parties make such claims and eager to prove that one is better than the other. All of these costs money which they will force others to pay. On one hand he talks of removing license, quota and permit raj and on the other he talks about strong regulatory policies, tax on windfall profits etc. I heard Dr. JP completely disregards an individual the right to profit from the property they possess. In one of his interviews where he suggested tax on windfall profits because he feels that its accidental profit and not profit from labor. I think next on his list will be inheritance tax which also has similar mechanics of profiting the heir who did nothing more than acquiring wealth of another individual who passed it on to him.  Is this not something we hear from the Nazi’s and Communists? No wonder he saw nothing wrong to join hands with the communist party last year for fighting elections. When did expropriation and extortion become a part of liberty? He also wants the prices to be set by farmers and not by the market. This is again a special interest coercion where valuation of goods and unscientific as it disregards cost accounting completely and the price determination mechanism. Prices are only determined by the free market which he talks about. Does he not know why prices are important? How does he then propose price determined by one single entity called the farmers or the government? Next he wants a ban on alcohol. How does banning alcohol promote liberty? With the recent on-going trend of fighting corruption and injustice by misuse of government power, he decided to join the bandwagon of popularity. Taxation is a form of expropriation and hence theft. Followers of liberty will only ask for voluntary donations for welfare and never propose exploitation by expropriation. They will never talk about taxing the rich. This is how socialists and communists talk and it’s their philosophy not that of a liberal or a libertarian. His plans are to increase and efficiently deliver goods from public finance. We all know no one spends public finances the way they would carry out welfare from finances put from their own pockets or by the Herculean efforts of raising donations against the quality of welfare service that they have provided. They talk against the evils of inflation and wish to infuse the huge stack of  so called black money which they want to acquire as soon as they get into power. How different will be the effects of such actions and different from that of inflating the economy is something they don’t talk off. They talk about Government officials taking bribes. They know that government officials are in an absolute position to misuse their power. Hence it is essential to destroy monopolistic absolute power and strong government with increased power doesn’t end corruption. They also support subsidies and tax holiday which again is in contrast with free market economics. These people talk against the current economic system and never fail to present fantasy land absurd Keynesian economic terms like GDP. Folks.. if your house is demolished and rebuilt the GDP will show an increase. This increase doesn’t necessarily mean progress but can also mean moving forward to the same point after being pushed back. These views of such parties are no different from all other socialist parties currently present in India.

To sum it up they support and worship democracy is not same as a voluntary society. Democracy gives rise to hegemonic society instead of a voluntary society where individual liberty is the epicentre. Absurd liberals and fake libertarians supports strong governments, numerous laws and policies interfering with everything that present system does but can never rationalize a proper reasoning why that power cannot be misused. They talk about freedom but are not ready to offer absolute individual liberty. They talk about decentralization of government power but never explain how it can be done without ending the monopoly of the government. They talk about removing corruption and corrupt people but they never explain how they would do so when they want powerful policies and regulations. They talk about life, liberty and property but ever ready to compromise them under the name of social contract.

These absurd liberals and fake libertarians are people with double standard and have nothing to do with liberty or freedom at all. They are dishonest as they talk something else and do something else. Beware of these wolves who are more dangerous than those who openly show where their interests lies and act as per their interest even if they are anti-liberal in nature, probably immoral too. And it’s not just the Lok Satta party but almost all of them.

The only liberals and libertarians who are for real are those who believe in absolute freedom and liberty. Those who understands that its not his business to interfere with life, liberty and property of other individuals who have not harmed or threatened his life, liberty and property. Man is a social animal and there will be interdependency and exchanges between different individuals. Those exchanges will be between them and hence no third party needs to intervene until and unless they are called in to do so by them.

The only person who cares for you and looks after you is your individual self. And you must be allowed to do so. You don’t need governments and other organizations coercing you into their welfare care system. We can take care of one another in absolute nonviolent cooperation amongst each other voluntarily.

These absurd liberals and libertarians are nothing more than wolves in sheep’s clothes and gives liberty a bad name.

For learning more about philosophies of life, liberty and property I suggest joining Indian Libertarians at www.indianlibertarians.org .

Wish you all a happy life, enjoy your liberties, fruits of your property and safeguard it.